Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I just got back from my six-month visit to the dentist.

I have higher-than-normal-but-not-super-wicked-high Dentist Anxiety.  High enough that I still go to the dentist we found downtown instead of trying to find a new dentist closer to our new neighborhood because she's nice and calm and laid back and has a soft voice.  Maybe you understand the weight of that statement, and maybe I should tell you that driving the 20 minutes to downtown and dealing with stupid Seattle drivers traffic and parking for ten dollars an hour are all worth it.  

And my anxiety has gotten a little bit better since I've had Lucy.  I tell myself that they're not going to give me Pitocin, and I relax a little bit more.  Not all the way, mind you, but a little bit more.

I have had so very few issues with my teeth, which partially stems from my dentist anxiety.  I've never had braces, I brush and floss every day.  I'd like to go in, get a quick cleaning and be on my way with no stops in between thankyouverymuch.  So why does it seem like my whole mouth is going to pot starting when I was pregnant?  I had a cavity filled when I was about five months pregnant, and last visit was a question of sensitive gums.  And now this.

I have had a little toothache for about five weeks.  I figured, well, I have an appointment in five weeks, it can wait.  And it's not a BAD toothache.  It's just maybe twingey, noticable-ish.  But I've been favoring that side of my mouth and now my TMJ is acting up.  My jaw is swollen and I can't clench my teeth or open too wide.  Which sucks on its own, but I was a little embarrassed having to tell the hygienist and dentist that I waited so long to have one thing fixed I screwed some other stuff up.

SO, I have to go back in to get this tooth fixed.  I have Cracked Tooth Syndrome.  They figured this out after a series of excruciating tests to see where the pain is and how it reacts to pressure/cold/poking/tugging/insults/kicking.  So now they have to put a crown on that poor little cracked tooth and maybe do a root canal, but they won't know until they can get in there and dig around and see where the pain is!  

WAH!  And that's not even the end of it!  I have two little starter decay spots on the top surface of my back two molars on the SAME side of my mouth.  So tomorrow I have a date to have all three things taken care of.  And they booked me for at least 90 minutes!  WAH!

I'm sure I'm not the only person to ever start crying in the dentist's chair, but to cover it up I made some joke about my evolving definition of relaxation, and that time in the dentist's office actually seems kind of nice with its soft music and big overstuffed chairs and a book I can read in the quiet.  My dentist said she'd have some stuff set up tomorrow to give me a paraffin hand treatment and eye masque and whatnot to make it seem that much more like vacation.

I hope I can get through it even with the extra perks of wax and masque.


Carrie said...

Oh, that's so not fun! I hate going to the dentist too, not nearly as much as you do, but it seems like they always find something wrong and it turns into all these follow-up visits and UGH.

Let me know if you need help with Lucy during any upcoming appointments. I'm near downtown, so if you have appointments on my days off and want to drop her off here, we'd be happy to entertain her for a while! Assuming our house ever stops being the house of germs, of course :)

Kate P said...

Oh, no! I wish you had my dentist--she is shy and very afraid of hurting anyone. But I still hate going to the dentist, so sometimes I just alternate "Hail Marys" and "Our Fathers" and offer them up.

Hope it all goes well for you.

Lindsay said...

Ugh. I fear the dentist, too, and I have never had anything bad happen to my teeth! I just get nervous! Seriously, all I've had done are getting sealants & my wisdom teeth taken out. That's it. I FEAR drilling. I really, really do. I had a toothache once, and my father joked that I had a cavity and they'd have to drill. I went to take a shower, fell to the tub floor & cried. I hyperventilated & freaked out. Turns out it was nothing, but I was petrified!